What can local florists do to tap into community ties and refine their messaging to better connect with area customers? How and why are leadership best practices evolving during the pandemic — and what are lessons that every floral business leader should be taking from this time? These are some of the topics that will be in the spotlight later this week during the Society of American Florists’ Reinvention Summit.
SAF’s Reinvention Summit, a five-day virtual event, kicked off July 27 and runs through July 31; registered participants have access to all recorded programming through Sept. 1. (Find out more here.)
Programming slated for the rest of this week — July 30 and 31 — will focus on high need areas, with practical takeaways for industry members from all segments via keynote presentations, panel debriefs and roundtable discussion groups.
Mark your calendar for these sessions:
Thursday, July 30:
Keynote: Leveraging the “Localvore” Movement
Since the onset of the pandemic, the “buy local” movement appears to be growing stronger and even more relevant among consumers who care about their communities and want to support area small businesses. For decades, Lee’s Flower and Card Shop has been at the center of its community in Washington, D.C.’s historic U Street corridor. Join sisters and co-owners Stacie Lee Banks, AAF, and Kristie Lee as they share some of their experiences so far from the pandemic and social upheaval — and talk about how they are drawing on the foundation of their brand as a community-oriented local business to push through the chaos.
Panel Debrief: Building Community and Connections for Your Business
Industry members who have created strong bonds with their local communities will expand on the keynote session with a conversation about how floral businesses can better cultivate partnerships and networks among area businesses, civic groups, individuals and more. They’ll share insight on why those connections are even more important today and give advice on how tools such as great storytelling can help business owners find new pathways to stand apart, finance projects and build toward the future.
Panelists: Susan Bachman West, Bachman’s Inc.; John Burk, DVFlora; Sally Kobylinski, In Bloom Florist; Valerie Lee Ow, J Miller Flowers; Sand Schroeck, AIFD, PFCI, Len Busch Roses
Friday, July 31
Keynote: Leadership in Times of Crisis
How do you lead your business through this unprecedented time and move from reacting to trauma and crisis to creating more strategic, meaningful and ultimately productive relationships with your team? How do you create a new framework and find ways to let go, move on and reimagine who you and your business might become? What do you do as a leader when you just don’t have all the answers? Join Joe Don Zetzsche, director of H-E-B’s BLOOMS Flower Shops, and Kate F. Penn, CEO of the Society of American Florists, for a conversation about what strong leadership looks like today and why it matters.
Panel Debrief: Leading Your Business through Change
After the conversation with Joe Don Zetzsche and Kate Penn, floral industry leaders will dig into the resources and perspective they tapped into as they made some of the hardest decisions of their careers. They’ll talk candidly about missteps, lessons learned and the key indicators they rely on now — and they’ll share some of the habits and strategies they’ve adopted or adapted over the last few months to become more effective leaders for their teams.
Panelists: Laura Shinall, Syndicate Sales; Cheryl Denham, AAF, AzMF, Arizona Family Florist; Michelle Castellano Keeler, AAF, Mellano and Company and SAF president-elect; Brad Levy, Allen’s Flowers & Plants; Liza Roeser, Fifty Flowers
Mary Westbrook is the editor in chief of Floral Management magazine.